Veteran journalist Thomas Barr has been named editor of the Wilmington News Journal, effective Monday, Feb. 16. The announcement was made by Jim Lawitz, vice president for editorial operations for Civitas Media, owner of the News Journal.
Barr will replace Lora Abernathy, who will continue with Civitas in her role as editor of the popular Salt magazine.
Barr has extensive experience in journalism and communication in southwestern Ohio, including more than 16 years as an editor and reporter with Cox Ohio Media publications in Lebanon and Mason, Ohio.
He managed up to six newspapers and their websites, including The Western Star and Pulse Journal, as well as working closely with Cox newspapers such as the Dayton Daily News, Middletown Journal and Hamilton Journal-News.
He also served as communications manager for Apex Supply Chain Technologies in Mason, and most recently served as a paginator for Civitas Media at its Miamisburg hub.
Early in his career, Barr served as a reporter with the Kettering-Oakwood Times, and a part-time sports reporter and features writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, majoring in English with a journalism emphasis, and a minor in Business. He has been active in civic organizations such as Lebanon Rotary and the Mason Historical Society.
“Tom’s experience, accomplishments, leadership qualities and ties to southwestern Ohio make him an ideal fit for the News Journal,” Lawitz said. “We are excited to have someone with Tom’s background leading the newsroom team in Wilmington. We also appreciate Lora’s many contributions and achievements as editor of the News Journal over the past two-plus years, and we’re excited that she will remain part of our team as editor of Salt.”
“I’m excited to be part of a historic newspaper that’s shown its commitment to Clinton County communities for nearly 180 years,” said Barr. “The News Journal has an experienced, talented team to continue that commitment, and we plan to keep growing our coverage of the community through print, web, and social media.”
Barr, added, “I’ve come to know this area well both personally and professionally through the years, and this is a great place to be. My wife and I will soon be relocating to the Wilmington area, and we look forward to becoming part of the community and meeting its people.”
Abernathy, who in addition to editing Salt is also pursuing a private business opportunity, said, “It has been an honor to lead the newsroom of the Wilmington News Journal. The reporters take great pride in discovering and bringing readers the important news of Clinton County, and are very dedicated to that mission. It has been a truly humbling and rewarding experience to help spearhead those efforts the last two-and-a-half years as editor. I look forward to continuing to work with all of my colleagues at the News Journal and with our other papers in southwest Ohio as editor of Salt magazine.”
Located in Davidson, N.C., Civitas Media has more than 100 publications, many of which have served their communities for more than a century. Civitas, Latin for “community” or “citizen,” employs more than 1,200 associates across 12 states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Tennessee.